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Actor Portrait: Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo & Side Effects)

rooneymarapostersI’ve viewed two movies starring Rooney Mara in the past week. The first was her Oscar-nominated performance as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Adapted from the first book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, the American version is brought to life by Mara’s Social Network director, David Fincher.  The second comes from an original script by Scott Z. Burns and directed by Steven Soderbergh called Side Effects. She got to work with two fantastic directors and play two vastly different characters. Over these past few days after viewing more of her work, I have grown to become quite a fan of Rooney Mara both as an actor, and as an audience member. I’ve also watched interviews with her, and kinda want to be her new BFF. Anywyays, she’s charming, likable and one fantastic actress. In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mara plays the role previously portrayed by actress, Noomi Rapace in the original Swedish adaptation of the book. In the American film version, Mara is paired with British actor, James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. First thoughts first, I actually thought her performance as Lisabeth was much better than Noomi Rapace. Even though I thought both were sufficient, there was something about Rooney Mara and her portrayal, how she saw the character, that made it more fun to watch. I also thought the hair and makeup was MUCH better in the American adaptation as well. She completely transforms herself into Lisbeth Salander  with her physical appearance, wardrobe, and vocal quality (pulling off a flawless Swedish accent.) She can be both frightening and frightened all at the same time. It’s amazing how she gets into the head space of the character.To me, she’s an actor’s actor of my generation. Here’s some behind the scenes:

Side Effects shows Rooney Mara is a COMPLETELY different light. At the other end of the spectrum is a seemingly innocent character both physically and emotionally. The film itself can be confusing at times and really slow moving, but it’s Rooney Mara’s performance that makes you want to watch it.  Even with Jude Law at her side, Mara holds her own. She even makes you look away from Channing Tatum while he’s on screen (for once.) You’d think her character was weak and feeble, but watch the movie, and you’ll be surprised. Rooney Mara is one of my new favorite actresses.

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